I married the love of my life in April of 2018. Wanting to grow our family, I removed my IUD that fall.

After experiencing heavy, endless periods for the rest of that year, I went to a new OB/GYN in January for abnormal uterine bleeding. He diagnosed me with PCOS. He also said my uterine lining was four times thicker than it should be, so we scheduled a hysteroscopy with D&C in February of 2019.

I was diagnosed with CAH (complex hyperplasia with atypia), and he referred me to a Gyn Onc. I met with her, and she performed a second D&C in March of 2019 and replaced the IUD. I had a follow-up biopsy in June (wasn’t cleared, but looking better) and again in September (all clear). We removed the IUD in November of 2019 after my second clear biopsy, in the hopes of trying to conceive.

We tried medications for PCOS and ovulation and even did some temping from November through the summer of 2020. That summer, my OB/GYN recommended I speak with a REI due to my age and the length of time we’d been trying to conceive. My husband had his first semen analysis that July, and we had our first REI appointment in August. She did an SHG in September and saw what she described as “scar tissue” from my previous procedures in 2019. We scheduled another surgery to clean everything out in October, where she discovered endometrioid adenocarcinoma, stage 1A. We were surprised that I totally skipped hyperplasia, and my Gyn Onc scheduled another outpatient surgery (D&C w/IUD placement) in November. We were back to square one.

We teleconferenced with our new REI in May 2021. In June 2021, we were able to remove the IUD once again after everything was clear and my genetic testing came back clear. I had my first HSG that same month, and I felt like we were finally moving forward. However, later in June, my pap came back abnormal. I had a colposcopy in August, and my OB/GYN gave me the all-clear to proceed with my REI. My insurance covered three IUIs, so we wanted to start with those. We went ahead with two, one in November and one in December. Neither were successful. My EMB (endometrial biopsy) in December came back clear of cancer, but it showed inflammation leading to a diagnosis of Chronic Endometritis. It was one blow after another.

I took antibiotics for two weeks and my follow-up biopsy in February of 2022 showed everything was clear again. I begin meds for egg retrieval at the end of March. My retrieval will be early April, and I will have another biopsy in May (just to make sure we are all clear) before the embryo transfer in June. We are planning to do ICSI and PGT-A testing.

My husband has been my rock through all of this. I’m sure I haven’t been the easiest to live with, especially when it feels like we take one step forward and two steps back. I am also thankful for my family, my wonderful doctors, supportive coworkers and friends, and of course the amazing women I have met through Facebook support groups. My journey is one of self-reflection, finding strength and determination, trying to live a healthier life physically, emotionally, and mentally, and balancing work as a funeral director with married life. In summation, we shouldn’t face fertility alone. #WeCanAll help each other. I encourage you to share your story. None of our journeys are the same, but sharing our stories helps us heal and may help someone else on their path to building their family. Best wishes to all the women warriors!

Jenny R., NC

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